Embodiment and presence in virtual worlds: a review
- 442 Downloads
The multimodal, 3D-graphical communication platforms known as virtual worlds have their historical roots in multi-user domains/dungeons (MUDs) and virtual reality (VR). Given the extensive research on these technologies and the novelty of virtual worlds as a topic of study in information systems (IS), it behooves us to learn from the concepts, theories and insights generated primarily by other disciplines that have focused on these technologies. Because neither MUDs nor VR have significant organizational application, thus locating them outside of the IS discipline’s purview, very little of this literature has found its way into IS research thus far. This article reviews the extant literature on virtual environments and seeks to make its insights accessible to IS research on virtual worlds. In particular, this will focus on concepts, theories and insights regarding embodiment and presence, which are afforded by the avatar, a distinguishing technological artifact of virtual worlds.
Keywordsavatar virtual reality telepresence social presence co-presence self presence
Funding from the National Science Foundation, Grant IIS-0848692, made this research possible. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. I would also like to thank Shauna Bowers, Chris Sauer and three anonymous reviewers for their comments on an earlier version of this paper.
- Anderson, T., Rourke, L., Garrison, D.R. and Archer, W. (2001). Assessing Teaching Presence in a Computer-Conferencing Context, Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks 5 (1): 1–17.Google Scholar
- Bailenson, J., Beall, A.C. and Blascovich, J. (2002). Gaze and Task Performance in Shared Virtual Environments, The Journal of Visualization and Computer Animation (13): 313–320.Google Scholar
- Biocca, F. (1997). The Cyborg's Dilemma: Progressive embodiment in virtual environments, Journal of Computer Mediated Communication 3 (2): 1–18.Google Scholar
- Carassa, A., Morganti, F. and Tirassa, M. (2005). A Situated Cognition Perspective on Presence, in B. Bara, L.W. Barsalou and M. Bucciarelli (eds.) XXVII Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Sheridan Printing, pp. 384–389.Google Scholar
- Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1990). Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, New York: Harper Collins.Google Scholar
- Daft, R.L. and Lengel, R.H. (1984). Information Richness: A new approach to managerial behavior and organizational design, in L.L. Cummings and B.M. Staw (eds.) Research in Organizational Behavior, Homewood, IL: JAI Press, pp. 191–233.Google Scholar
- Damasio, A.R. (1994). Descartes’ Error: Emotion, reason, and the human brain, New York: Putnam.Google Scholar
- Damasio, A.R. (1999). The Feeling of What Happens: Body, emotion and the making of consciousness, San Diego: Hartcourt Press.Google Scholar
- Despres, D. (2009). Obama Healthcare Team and Second Life, in Science Roll: A Doctor's Journey in Genetics, PhD and Medicine Through Web 2.0. [www document] http://scienceroll.com/2009/01/10/obama-healthcare-team-and-second-life/.
- Donath, J., Karahalios, K. and Vigas, F. (1999). Visualizing Conversation, Journal of Computer Mediated Communication 4 (4): 1–17.Google Scholar
- Dreyfus, H.L. (2009). On the Internet, 2nd edn. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Ducheneaut, N., Yee, N., Nickell, E. and Moore, R. (2006). Alone Together? Exploring the social dynamics of massively multiplayer games, in conference proceedings on human factors in computing systems (CHI 2006). April 22–27, Montreal, Canada. 407–416.Google Scholar
- Gibson, J.J. (1979). The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception, Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
- Goffman, E. (1959). The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, Garden City, NY: Doubleday.Google Scholar
- Ihde, D. (2002). Bodies in Technology, Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
- Jennings, C. (2008). A Second Life for Virtual Worlds? Computer Weekly: [www document] http://www.computerweekly.com/Articles/2008/12/03/233528/A-second-life-for-virtual-worlds.htm.
- Kang, H.-S. and Yang, H.-D. (2006). The Visual Characteristics of Avatars in Computer-Mediated Communication: Comparison of internet relay chat and instant messenger as of 2003, International Journal of Human-Computer Studies (64): 1173–1183.Google Scholar
- Kim, T. and Biocca, F. (1997). Telepresence Via Television: Two dimensions of telepresence may have different connections to memory and persuasion, Journal of Computer Mediated Communication 3 (2): 1–26.Google Scholar
- Lakoff, G. and Johnson, M. (1980). Metaphors We Live By, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- LeGoes, F. (2010). Digital Nation, PBS, Frontline, (February), [www document] http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/digitalnation/interviews/legoues.html.
- Lombard, M. and Ditton, T. (1997). At the Heart if it All: The concept of presence, Journal of Computer Mediated Communication 3 (2), [www document] http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol3/issue2/lombard.html.
- Loy, D. (2007). Cyberbabel? Ethics and Information Technology (9): 251–258.Google Scholar
- McLuhan, M. (1964). Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, New York: McGraw Hill.Google Scholar
- Minsky, M. (1980). Telepresence, Omni (2): 45–51.Google Scholar
- Mokros, H.B. and Deetz, S.A. (1996). What Counts as Real?: A Constitutive view of communication and the disenfranchised in the context of health, in E.B. Ray (ed.) Communication & Disenfranchisement: Social health issues and implications, Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum and Assoc., 29–44.Google Scholar
- Nowak, K.L. and Rauh, C. (2005). The Influence of the Avatar on Online Perceptions of Anthropomorphism, Androgymy, Credibility, Homophily, and Attraction, Journal of Computer Mediated Communication 11 (1).Google Scholar
- Orlikowski, W.J. (2010). The Sociomateriality of Organizational Life: Considering Technology in Management Research, Cambridge Journal of Economics (34): 125–141.Google Scholar
- Ratan, R. and Hasler, B.S. (2010). Exploring Self-Presence in Collaborative Virtual Teams, PsychNology 8 (1): 11–31.Google Scholar
- Riley, J. (2007). Virtual Worlds Are 2008's ‘Breakthrough Technology, Computer Weekly, 2nd November, [www document] http://www.computerweekly.com/Articles/2007/11/02/227900/virtual-worlds-are-2008s-breakthrough-technology.htm.
- Riva, G. (2009). Is Presence a Technology Issue? Some insights from cognitive science, Virtual Reality (13): 159–167.Google Scholar
- Riva, G., Mantovani, F. and Gaggioli, A. (2004a). Presnce and Rehabilitation: Toward second-generation virtual reality applications in neuropsychology, Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation 1 (9): 1–11.Google Scholar
- Riva, G. and Waterworth, J.A. (2003). Presence and the Self: A cognitive neuroscience approach, Presence-Connect, Vol 3, April issue, [www document] http://presence.cs.ucl.ac.uk/presenceconnect/.
- Riva, G., Mantovani, F. and Gaggioli, A. (2004a). Presence and Rehabilitation: Toward second-generation virtual reality applications in neuropsychology, Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation 1 (9): 1–11.Google Scholar
- Riva, G., Waterworth, J.A., Waterworth, E.L. and Mantovani, F. (2009). From Intention to Action: The role of presence, New Ideas in Psychology 11 (2): 1–14.Google Scholar
- Rosenthal, B.E. (2009). Ernst & Young Uses Avatars to Test the Use of Virtual Worlds as a Way to Enhance Training for New Auditors, Outsourcing Journal, (March), [www document] http://www.outsourcing-journal.com/mar2009-acs.html.
- Sanchez-Vives, M.V. and Slater, M. (2005). From Presence to Consciousness through Virtual Reality, Nature Reviews: Neuroscience 6: 332–339.Google Scholar
- Schubert, T.W. (2009). A New Conception of Spatial Presence: Once again, with feeling, Communication Theory (19): 161–187.Google Scholar
- Schultze, U. (2010). A Performative Perspective on Virtual Worlds: The dialectics of the avatar-self relationship, paper presented at Academy of Management. Montreal.Google Scholar
- Schultze, U., Hiltz, R., Nardi, B., Rennecker, J. and Stucky, S. (2008). Synthetic Worlds in Work and Learning, Communications of the AIS 22 (19): 351–370.Google Scholar
- Schultze, U. and Leahy, M.M. (2009). The Avatar-Self Relationship: Enacting presence in second life, International Conference on Information Systems, Phoenix, AZ: Association of Information Systems.Google Scholar
- Short, J., Williams, E. and Christie, B. (1976). The Social Psychology of Telecommunications, London: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
- Slater, M. (1999). Measuring Presence: A response to the Witmer and Singer presence questionnaire, Presence (8): 560–565.Google Scholar
- Slater, M. (2003). A Note on Presence Terminology, Presence-Connect 3 (January) [www document] http://presence.cs.ucl.ac.uk/presenceconnect/.
- Soukup, C. (2004). Multimedia Performance in a Computer-Mediated Community: Communication as a virtual drama, Journal of Computer Mediated Communication 9 (4): 1–30.Google Scholar
- Spagnolli, A., Varotto, D. and Mantovani, G. (2003). An Ethnographic, Action-Based Approach to Human Experience in Virtual Environments, International Journal of Human-Computer Studies (59): 797–822.Google Scholar
- Suchman, L.A. (2007). Human-Machine Reconfigurations: Plans and situated action, 2nd edn, New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Suler, J. (2004). The Online Disinhibition Effect. CyberPsychology & Behavior 7 (3): 321–326.Google Scholar
- Tanis, M. and Postmes, T. (2007). Two Faces of Anonymity: Paradoxical effects of cues to identity in CMC, Computers in Human Behavior (23): 955–970.Google Scholar
- Taylor, T.L. (2002). Living Digitally: Embodiment in virtual worlds, in R. Schroeder (ed.) The Social Life of Avatars: Presence and interaction in shared virtual environments, London: Springer Verlag.Google Scholar
- Tims, A. (2010). L’oréal Hopes Recruitment Game Will Attract Top Graduates, The Guardian, 12th June, [www document] http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2010/jun/12/loreal-recruitment-game-top-graduates.
- Tracy, S.J. and Trethewey, A. (2005). Fracturing the Real-Self 〈-〉 Fake-Self Dichotomy: Moving toward ‘crystalized’ organizational discourses and identities, Communication Theory 15 (2): 168–195.Google Scholar
- Turkle, S. (1995). Life on the Screen: Identity in the life of the internet, New York: NY: Simon & Shuster.Google Scholar
- Vasalou, A., Joinson, A., Banziger, T., Goldie, P. and Pitt, J. (2008). Avatars in Social Media: Balancing accuracy, playfulness and embodied messages, Human-Computer Studies (66): 801–811.Google Scholar
- Walther, J.B. (1992). Interpersonal effects in computer-mediated interaction: A relational perspective. Communication Research 19 (1): 52–90.Google Scholar
- Waterworth, J.A. and Waterworth, E.L. (2003). The Meaning of Presence, Presence-Connect 3 (February) [www document] http://presence.cs.ucl.ac.uk/presenceconnect/.
- Waterworth, J.A. and Waterworth, E.L. (2006). Presence as a dimension of communication: Context of use and the person, in G. Riva, M.T. Anguera, B.K. Wiederhold and F. Mantovani (eds.) From Communication to Presence: Cognition, emotions and culture toward the ultimate communicative Experience, Amsterdam: IOS Press, pp. 81–96.Google Scholar